Claims spike set to come in part from tough economy and the Olympics

AXA Personal Lines has warned that 2012 could be one of the worst years on record for soaring home insurance claims.

The insurer has predicted that these will come from factors such as continued economic pressure on homeowners, the Olympics, Diamond Jubilee, Euro 2012 and weather events.

Economic pressures have already caused theft and attempted theft claims to rise by 12% up in 2010, with a similar rise expected for 2011, the insurer added.

The insurer is expecting soaring home claims from the Olympics, Euro 2012 and Jubilee because its data shows that the amount of accidental damage and losses increases whenever families and friends gather.

Christmas Day in 2011 saw a 14% rise in losses for AXA, with a 78% increase on New Year’s Day. The insurer expects 49% of the population to gather for the Olympics, a similar percentage to watch Euro 2012 and 40% to celebrate the Jubilee.

Burglars will also use the events to strike at unoccupied homes, the insurer warned.

A cold snap in 2012 could see another rise in burst pipe claims, as the insurer’s research shows that only 42% of homeowners insulate pipes and just 45% leave their heating on to prevent burst pipes when leaving the house in freezing weather.

AXA believes subsidence could also be a problem if there is a long spell of warm and dry weather.

Figures from the insurer show that theft or attempted theft was up 12% from 2009 to 2010 and this trend looks as if it will have continued throughout 2011.

AXA Personal Lines head of household claims Christine Matthews said: “We sincerely hope that our predictions turn out to be wrong but we would urge people everywhere across the UK to think about what they can do to avoid the stress and potential financial loss of a burglary or accident around the home.”